For employers and employees in New York, workplace disputes can cause tremendous problems. Often, these are related to allegations of harassment. In recent memory, high-profile accusations, complaints and ramifications have been discussed in the public. With the number of people who are accused of and are claiming harassment, it is important to be up to date on the current laws in relation to these complaints. Recently, the New York State Senate passed a series of bills related to workplace concerns. Governor Kathy Hochul has signed several of them. Knowing what they are and what they entail is key regardless of the viewpoint.
What the new employment laws will do
One law will establish a confidential hotline for people to lodge complaints about sexual harassment on the job. Another gives public sector and state workers protection under the Human Rights Law. The third makes it illegal to retaliate against employees by releasing their personnel records.
The toll-free number will give workers an outlet when they were previously unable to complain about harassment due to a lack of knowledge about their rights. A person who, for example, is facing a situation where a colleague is showing them inappropriate material and does not know where to turn can contact the hotline for legal assistance as to what their options are.
With the Human Rights Law, people who work for the state will be held responsible if they are found to have committed harassment. That was not previously the case. Finally, people are frequently victimized after the fact when they have complained and an employer retaliates by releasing personnel records to try and discredit them. This is no longer allowed. It is important to remember that it will not be a violation if the personnel records are needed as part of the investigatory process.
Employers and employees should have help navigating new employment laws
To address employment law violations involving sexual harassment and discriminatory behavior, it is vital to know how people are protected and what challenges they can be confronted with. This is true not just for employees, but also for employers. Whether it is a case related to sexual harassment in the workplace, discrimination, retaliation or for any other reason, it is imperative to be fully cognizant of the new laws that have been passed and to have an honest appraisal of the prospects of the case. To have assistance, it is important to contact those experienced in employment law.